Rhea Myers

Cello And Digital Delay

I found another MySpace page for someone who uses a cello and a digital delay to make music. If you’re not familiar with digital delays they’re short loop sampler foot pedals, like KT Tunstall uses for performing “The Black Horse And The Cherry Tree” live. If you’re not familiar with cellos, go and listen to some Rasputina or to “Hounds Of Love”.

There’s a feminist analysis to be had here but I’m not really qualified to make it.

Instead I’m interested in what the equivalent for visual art would be. Charcoal and scanner? Palette knife and digital camera? A dialogue between old high cultural skill and new media reproduction that empowers the individual, making something very new with a lineage. I scanned and arranged paint samples years ago but I was limited by the technology I had available at the time.

One important consideration is that a digital delay doesn’t alter the texture or richness of sound any more than any other performance or recording technology. Scan and print paint or pastel and you lose colour and texture. Reproduction transforms visual media much more markedly. You either have to plan for inkjet, which limits your use of the media, or you have to choose media that will survive scanning. Printmaking and illustration media for example.

Another way of handling this is to use a pen that happens to output mouse movements rather than ink. A Wacom tablet. This can then be worked into vector composition of bitmap pen actions.

The irony of a cybernetically superhuman classicism or folk is reproduced by such a set-up, and if the indexicality of it can be as well then this might be worthwhile.

I wonder what examples there are of this kind of thing?